MAPUTO, Mozambique, Mar 30 – President Uhuru Kenyatta said today ruling and opposition parties had an obligation to work together to deliver economic progress for the people they serve, because growing their country came above all else.
He also said that whereas the three arms of government — executive, legislature and parliament — were independent, they were also inter-dependent, serving the same interests as expressed by their peoples in their constitution.
President Kenyatta spoke on a busy second day of his state visit to the southern African state of Mozambique, when he met Verónica Nataniel Macamo Dlovo, speaker of the Mozambican National Assembly, paid homage at the heroe’s shrine and visited the port.
The speaker’s delegation included members of the ruling Frelimo and the opposition Renamo parties. The speaker said the parties were working closely to build Mozambique’s fledgling democracy.
“The ruling party and the opposition serve the same people. There is no need for daily altercations. We have to work closely to deliver development to our people,” President Kenyatta said.
Earlier, the President laid a wreath at the Memorial Heroes Square, which honours leading figures in Mozambique’s liberation movement, including Eduardo Mondlane and Samora Machel.
The President paid tribute to the liberation heroes, saying their ideals lived on and continued to inspire ta new generation of African leaders, including himself and host President Filipe Nyusi.
On the need for cooperation by the three arms of government cited by the speaker, President Kenyatta said the laws recognised the independence of the institutions, but also that they served the interests of the country.
“They are independent, but inter-dependent also. They serve the same people,” he said.
After the visit to the National Assembly, President Kenyatta toured the port of Maputo where he was briefed on the operation of the facility, and especially on the process of exporting coal, an area of interest to Kenya.
As the two countries seek new areas of collaboration, President Kenyatta expressed the need to link the Mozambican ports of Maputo, Beira and Nacala with the Kenya’s port of Mombasa and the new Lamu port which is still under construction.
He said the ports of Maputo, Beira and Nacala were the key gateway to regional market of the 15-member Southern African Development Community (SADC), the ports of Mombasa and Lamu play the same role in the East Africa region.
“We want to see how our shipping lines can also be further developed so that we can increase trade not only between Kenya and Mozambique but also within the SADC region which Mozambique is the key sea port and the East African Community which Kenya is a member,” President Kenyatta said.
He added: “By linking these facilities, we will be connecting the people of SADC and those of East African region.”
President Kenyatta’s visit has rejuvenated the historic economic and social ties between Kenya and Mozambique. On Thursday, the President was handed over the key of Maputo City, the highest honour a city’s administration can accord a visitor.
The symbolic gesture of handing over an ornamental key was performed by the capital city’s mayor, Mr David Simango, at a ceremony attended by First Lady Margaret Kenyatta held at the Noble Hall of the Maputo Municipal Council.
President Kenyatta said he was delighted by the honour bestowed on him and through him to the people of the Republic of Kenya.
As a further step to break the artificial barriers erected by the Africa’s former colonial masters, President Kenyatta announced the scrapping of visas for Mozambican citizens wishing to visit Kenya.
He also said Kenya would open a Consulate in Maputo, which he expects to be upgraded to a full-fledged embassy.
“Our forefathers fought for political liberation. It falls upon us to ensure economic liberation, to ensure the artificial boundaries created by former colonial masters are removed and that our people are free to travel, trade, do business and marry without obstacles,” President Kenyatta said.
President Kenyatta arrived in Mozambique on Thursday and held talks with host President Filipe Nyusi centred on strengthening political and economic ties. In a visit full of colour, the President inspected two full military guards of honour.
Military pageantry is a great Mozambican tradition. On Friday, the President was honoured again twice, with military formations at the heroe’s memorial site and at parliament.